Club wins HEARTS
Cape Town Club has shed its stuffy image and is reinventing its image, writes Bianca Coleman
ONCE upon a time I was the Queen Of Clubs, wrote a weekly column about nightclubs in Cape Town, and partied all night. That was in another lifetime. Now, at the risk of ruining my reputation, I’d rather be in bed with a book and a nice cup of tea.
There’s none of this Fomo thing the youngsters of today have; I’ve done my time – and more – on dance floors. Or so I thought.
When my long-time friend Gia Pra Levis messaged me to say she and her partner Victoria Jackson were launching a new Friday after work event at the Cape Town Club, I consulted my diary.
“What time does it go on until?” I asked her. “2am,” she replied. Oh, how I laughed and laughed. Not only because I had no intention of still being up and about at that time, but also because it was the Cape Town Club, that rather posh and exclusive members-only domain with its wood-panelled walls and dour portraits. How could this even be possible, I wondered.
Having already been to the Monday Night Magic events at the club (returning next month) I had some idea of the pleasures the venue has to offer. So off I went to find out what Gia and Victoria were up to.
It begins with more or less what you would expect – drinks in the drawing room. A red carpet, velvet rope, and smart doormen already up the level of sophistication on arrival. The long high-ceilinged room is furnished with comfy couches, and intimate fireside chairs. Lighting is soft and pink, and a DJ plays appropriately ambient electronica. Or in Gia’s words: “Anything but house music”.
You can order tapas as well. I was captivated by the eclectic mix of people, the likes of which you would never expect to see at a place like this. Plus, on both occasions I have been there so far, I have bumped into a number of old (and new) friends, which is always good. A show at another venue beckoned me but I was intrigued by what was promised later; at 9pm the basement opens and becomes a nightclub, with lounge areas, a bar, and a dark dance floor. The music was to be voodoo hop, an intriguing and mysterious genre of which I had never heard.
When I got back the basement was pumping, and the music was awesome. I got on to that dance floor and didn’t get off until I couldn’t stand my unplanned high heels a moment longer. The last time I was this transported with a new genre was when I discovered trance nearly 20 years ago.
All the intoxicating fun and delight is interwoven with this being the Cape Town Club, which, after being so unattainable to the masses for so long, has launched itself into 2016 with alacrity, shrugging off its staid and stuffy image and embracing new and exhilarating adventures, while losing none of its decorum.
“Vo and I are extremely excited at being part of the transformation of this progressive and exciting city and the thrill of taking such a historical venue and truly integrating it turns us on no end!” says Gia, who has been working with Victoria (Vo) on and off for 10 years. A few months ago they were approached by The Cape Town Club to join forces to bring the club, along with its membership compliment, elegantly into the 21st century. Now on the executive committee of the club, Evention (their company) chose Friday afternoons to slowly begin the evolution, but this is just the beginning, says Gia.
“The club has been synonymous with prestige, exclusivity and unparalleled networking opportunities since 1898. Its primary goal has been to continue to operate an exclusive thinking-persons’ club during the week for members and potential movers and shakers. The intention now is to use weekends to become part of our vibrant city by opening up the space to the music, design and art scenes.”
Cape Town Club, 18 Queen Victoria Street.Call 021 424 5586 or go to www.capetownclub.org.za
Cape Town Club is the place to be on Fridays after work and is becoming more inclusive.